The tight-knit community of Laketown is home to relatable, flawed, and intriguing friends and neighbors that you can’t help but like. Ms. Ransom’s books transport you straight into the latest gossip spilling out of Minnie’s busy lakeside joint, the boisterous halls of Laketown High where their rural surroundings leave them with nothing better to do than get into trouble, or deep underground to the terrifying trappings of a locked bomb shelter.
You may find yourself ignoring your children, staying up into the wee hours of the morning to find out what happens next. Many readers have said they miss the characters when the book ends. Have no fear, as she continues to bring you the stories of this unique and lovable town, you will see your favorites reappear in later books. Buy one right now on Amazon.com!
TRUTH: Will it hurt or set them free? A road trip with epic twists and turns. Loner and budding engineer Lodan Dawson’s countdown to his sixteenth birthday is nearing its final month. Lodan’s mom has been uncharacteristically reluctant to produce his birth certificate to obtain his driver’s license. His mother claims it’s in the attic safe and can’t recall the combination.
Lizzy, a seventeen-year-old nomenclature obsessed, tenacious, homeschooler has just moved in next door. Lizzy seamlessly interjects herself into Lodan and his mother’s insulated life. Lizzy’s long-distance boyfriend has ghosted her on social media and cracking the safe with Lodan is a welcome distraction. Inside the safe, Lodan finds proof his mom has kept him from knowing the rest of their family. This hits hard since he has vainly begged for information about his father from a young age. Lizzy proposes the perfect solution: a truth seeking road trip to confront her boyfriend and Lodan’s secret family.They pillage their pantries, college and car funds, and sneak off in Lodan’s mom’s car to cross the United States in search of answers.
Initially Lodan envies Lizzy’s apparent beyond her years knowledge of how life works, but when they learn the truth about her boyfriend Mateo, Lodan comes to the realization that maybe he isn’t the only person his age a little lost in the world of adolescence. Shortly after digesting the horrifying truth about Lodan’s mother, they are faced with a near death experience that helps accelerate the process of clarity. As unexpected as black ice, their truth-seeking endeavors create a domino effect, disrupting the lives of many more people than they anticipated. They begin to wonder if learning the truth could be even more painful than living the lie? Can Lodan and Lizzy forgive for the sake of love, friendship and family?
Can Fate Be Fixed? Preferring football to flirting and snowmobiles to stilettos, Rae never desired more than friendship with boys until she finds herself attracted to both McNeal twins.
Daredevil, magnetic Trey personifies “habitual heartbreaker.” But their shared passion for music and speed, and a layered darker side to Trey tempts Rae to look closer. His twin, Matt, makes his attraction to Rae clear with the same persistent approach he takes to every goal he sets, from excelling in academics to securing an appointment to the US Naval Academy. Matt’s charismatic, easy to talk to and understands Rae better than she understands herself.
Torn between their attention and her promise to herself to avoid relationships with “summer guys,” Rae struggles to make good choices. Her heart’s choice leads to tragedy, destroying two bright futures and sending Rae into a self-medicating downward spiral that even her best friend, Kyle can’t help her overcome.
Eventually, convinced to try love once more, fate takes another devastating twist. Only this time tragedy comes coupled with long-held secrets. Her world yanked from beneath her feet, Rae must decide if she can forgive to live.
Gossip Girl meets Gone Girl “Sierra Hart wakes up alone in a strange room and finds a cryptic note from an unseen captor…A suspicious group of friends and family members share what they know about Sierra in alternating chapters…There’s Sierra’s dad, a gambling addict with a criminal record; her mom, a loving but lonely doctor; and her ex-boyfriend, Dave, who hopes to win her back from his rival, Gavin, who recently transferred to her school. FBI agents don’t have much physical evidence, so they interrogate members of Sierra’s inner and outer circles in search of a motive. Their suspects are complex and very human characters…Meanwhile, Sierra herself updates her journal from her holding cell to pass the time…As she re-examines her relationships, Sierra wavers between her desire to trust others and her need to protect herself…This riveting novel shows that there’s more to Sierra’s seemingly idyllic teenage life than track meets, pool parties, and gossiping on the phone with her best friend—and when all is revealed, her reaction to her kidnapper is the biggest surprise of all…” – Kirkus Review
Judge’s Commentary: “Well Done…”
A terrific premise, structured to build intrigue. We care about Sierra from the start, and we experience a roller coaster of emotions as her story unfolds. The author has done a terrific job of pacing the unspooling of revelations, keeping the reader engaged in the book throughout. Dialogue is smart and authentic, with interactions made all the stronger by good attention to movements and inner dialogue in dialogue scenes. Author has done a good job of differentiating the characters’ voices, giving them each a rich layering. We are introduced immediately into Sierra’s family structure, showing the author’s talent in creating multi-faceted characters with histories and personal entanglements, challenges, lessons to be learned and unlearned. The intricacies of all of these relationships shine. Well done. I liked Sierra’s strength at the end, with ‘now you can wait and wonder,’ providing a fine lesson for young readers who need to learn about boundaries and self-love. The sex scene on page 171 was a bit too graphic for my YA levels, veering just outside of what could have been described a bit more subtly for this genre. Understanding that some YA books are blending into adult-level reading, and that sex is a reality in teens’ lives, this is just a matter of personal preference. Still, the sex scene made sense in the plot, so we understand its role in Sierra’s situation. ‘You look hot, like you’ve been properly mauled’ also tweaked my discomfort level, which is actually a good thing, creating a discomfort that rightly makes us wonder about Dave’s true character. We get a sense of the trauma unleashed by the Donna Summer song, and the author excels at describing visceral reactions to memories, an elevating detail of the book. The wrap-ups from each character are rich and nuanced at the end, a standout of completion for the book’s structure. Well done, with a satisfying end.
“A family’s search for a missing teenage girl leads the police close to home while the victim is locked in a cellar with no way out in Ransom’s debut YA novel.”
“High school student Sierra Hart wakes up alone in a strange room and finds a cryptic note from an unseen captor with instructions for her to take care of herself with the supplies provided—including a bed, an exercise bike, and some canned goods—until she’s released. A suspicious group of friends and family members share what they know about Sierra in alternating chapters, as if a television news program is interviewing them—a promising hook for readers.
This riveting novel shows that there’s more to Sierra’s seemingly idyllic teenage life than track meets, pool parties, and gossiping on the phone with her best friend—and when all is revealed, her reaction to her kidnapper is the biggest surprise of all.
Hope and humor buoy tales of complicated relationships and old traumas in this fast-paced manhunt.”
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